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One huge risk of re-purposing is that sometimes you come across deals that are best left behind. Or perhaps not, because MAYBE…with enough paint and some pretty fabric and enough time…. (and there, once again, you’re HOOKED on a deal that should be left behind because re-purposing is simply part of your DNA and you just can’t help yourself). Which is part of the story behind this couch Fireman and I brought home yesterday. I know, I know. Kinda gross, VERY weathered, and those cushions??  We were somewhat afraid to sit on them. But you see, there’s this local guy named Seth, and Seth has become a “picker” friend of sorts for me, and when Seth emailed and asked if I wanted this couch, I had a hard time saying no.  One, because I like Seth.  And two, in my re-purposing mind, I kept seeing pictures like these: Lovely, outdoor…

Some of you may not know I grew up running barefoot through cut corn rows, galloping my pony through shaded trails with only fragments of faded twine for reins, shampooing my hair in a crystal-clear lake on summer Saturdays, and playing tag on combines and seeders and John Deere tractors during which if you touched the ground at any time, you were IT. I think back on those days sometimes, recall the damp and dark of summer nights, the heart-pounding thrill of Kick-the-Can, the lonesome, eery cry of loons.  If I think hard, I can almost smell the lake again, touch the pebbled back of a toad in my hand, burrow my toes into the cooling sand of nightfall. This week, I attempted to bring some of that beloved country-girl back in the form of a darling little chicken house for our family’s first-ever laying hens.  (And yes, we even…

“So there was this old dresser……”I wonder how many bloggers start posts like that, another story of a furniture transformation achieved with a couple coats of paint, some elbow grease…and a little Annie Sloan wax, of course.Of course.This post isn’t about a dresser.  Well, kinda.  It all started when I found a certain hutch on CL (is it okay to abbreviate Craigslist with CL now?  I think everyone knows what CL means, but perhaps that’s presumptuous of me?), and the lady selling the hutch also had an old dresser for sale which included two tall, tacky mirrors that looked like this.I knew right away this wasn’t a whole lot of beauty to work with, but I held onto both mirrors the last few months as I brainstormed what to do because the thing is, who doesn’t love a mirror?  They can go anywhere, they reflect light, they add movement……..and even…

One of the things I loved about the book “Unbroken” was a relatively insignificant paragraph on page 167 describing Louis Zamperini’s observations while at sea (emphases purely my own):Louie found that the raft offered an unlikely intellectual refuge.  He had never recognized how noisy the civilized world was.  Here, drifting in almost total silence, with no scents other than the singed odor of the raft, no flavors on his tongue, nothing moving but the slow procession of shark fins, every vista empty save water and sky, his time unvaried and unbroken, his mind was freed of an encumbrance that civilization had imposed on it.  In his head, he could roam anywhere, and he found that his mind was quick and clear, his imagination unfettered and supple.  He could stay with a thought for hours, turning it about.I remember reading that passage for the first time, pausing, and reading it through again, more slowly this time.And something…..a longing?….craving?…pulled hard…

When the music fades………and all is stripped away……My soul often finds rest in creating.After hugging our last summer guests good-bye yesterday morning, I spent the day reconnecting with my home and allowing myself to wile away the hours with no real purpose or agenda.  And as is so often the case, my soul found rest with my hands as I attempted one of those lovely book page wreaths I’ve seen for several months now in blog-land.There are numerous tutorials for these wreaths online.  I loosely followed THIS one.  My supplies included an old copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare for my pages, a cardboard cutout (I used a box from the post office and traced around a mixing bowl to create the circle from which to cut), a glue gun, and a short piece of jute rope for the hanger.After rolling each torn out page into a cone and…

Recently we tackled the construction of a DIY Balance Beam for my daughter’s 9th birthday.Purple, no less :)Following is a detailed step-by-step guide as to how we went about building it.  **Note: This project does involve cutting and welding steel.  If you have a husband who loves to build things, that’s also a plus:)Here are the materials we used:(3) 2′ x 6′ x 10′  (cut down to 4 1/2″ width to make slightly wider than Olympic width of 4″)(1) 5′ length 1″ steel square tubing cut into (4) 22″ lengths. All ends cut at 22 degree angle.(1) 5′ length 2 1/2″ wide steel flatbar (1’4″ – 3/8″ thick).  We used 3/8″ thick.From this flatbar, we cut two cradles to hold the wooden beam.  Each cradle had a bed 4 1/2″ wide, with side arms 2 7/8″ high.We also cut the four rectangular “feet” from this same flatbar, each foot being…

After the busy-ness of Christmas, Mr. Mimsy and I chilled out by tackling an update in our Boys’ Bathroom.So far we’ve ripped out the old sliding glass door ~and installed a much more functional shower curtain instead.  This teenage-vibe curtain came from Bed Bath and Beyond.After painting the walls Sherwin Williams Wool Skein, we added beadboard (Sherwin Williams Creamy) and installed towel hooks to the back corner of the room.  Such a simple improvement, but what a huge welcoming boost this gives the space!  I went with brushed nickel hooks from Lowe’s because the room’s light fixtures, vanity hardware and door handles are all brushed nickel.Isn’t the tile on this floor pretty neat?  I can’t take any credit for that.  The door in the background is a very deep, wonderful linen closet. Awhile back I saw these signs in a Pottery Barn magazine and thought they were a fun mixture of whimsy and practical…

“When things go wrongas they sometimes will…”                                     – Edgar Guest                                      “Don’t Quit” ….I find it helpful to bury myself in a creative process, thus rendering me incapable of discussing above traumatic damage with perpetrators who happen to reside in my home.I also find creativity an effective means of taking every thought captive, versus the more immediate impulse to explode in anger.So, that being said, I monogrammed a couple pillows this afternoon.When we purchased our master bedroom chairs from Restoration Hardware a couple years ago, we also received two down-filled pillows with linen covers.  Here they are with the pillow inserts removed. Very nice quality, but ho-hum and non-descript, so I figured a hand-painted “C” stenciled on each would provide a little personalization and interest.How right I was!I started out by experimenting with different fonts on my computer and ended up choosing Edwardian Script for my C.  After printing off my Edwardian C in something like 650 pt font, I laid a piece of freezer…

A few weeks back I was working on decorating a portion of our front hallway and decided to hang several white plates I scored at Valoo’ Vilage’ (a pronunciation introduced to me by another Valu Village regular like myself.  Isn’t it funny?)Have you ever looked at beautiful platters and dishes hanging on the walls, no hanger in sight, and wondered how on earth they stayed there?  Crazy I know, but for a long time this was a mystery to me ~ a dilemma I would actually ponder as I drifted off to sleep at night.  Well, for all those crazies out there like me, I hope you’ll be delighted to know that my pondering actually produced a solution one night, and now I have plates hanging on my wall without a single hanger in sight.  The solution is so easy!You know those little brass picture hangers you can buy at any grocery store, supercenter, hardware…

Hello to all!  I know…I know…it’s been quiet up here on the ridge lately so I thought I’d update you on some recent projects going on around here because boy, we are “gettin’ ‘er dun” these last couple weeks.  I don’t know what the difference is this year compared to past summers.  Are we more motivated?  Have more time at home?  Finally have a little extra moulah to complete some exterior to-do’s?  Probably a bit of all three.  Our numero uno project this spring/summer coincided with the kids’ homeschool project to build three garden boxes and plant some vegetables.This is a first for the Coon family.Ever.I must admit the whole thing loomed dreadfully overwhelming since I had no idea what I (we) were doing.  How deep and wide do you build the boxes?  How on earth do you prepare proper soil?  What grows well up here?  How far apart do you plant carrots?  And…